On Hamazura's mind is the thought of disposing a dead person into an incinerator. As he is preoccupied by this, he is attacked by a group of delinquents who wanted to take revenge on Hamazura after the fall of his Skill-Out gang. Fortunately, a friend from the past helps him: a fellow Skill-Out named Hattori Hanzou, who still believes in him in spite of the events that led to the collapse of Komaba Ritoku's gang.
After receiving a lady's gun from Hattori, Hamazura returns to ITEM, where the three remaining members — with Frenda dead or captured — pampering themselves in a high-class spa in District 3. Takitsubo's usage of her ability to track down espers using their AIM barely warns them of an incoming attack from SCHOOL's Kakine Teitoku, who has the "Tweezers" on his possession. Saiai carves an escape route and takes off with Rikou and Hamazura, only for the former to return to the battlefield to assist Mugino.
Saiai then finds herself fighting against someone who uses a magnetic sniper rifle, but her powers over nitrogen allows her to succeed and defeating her enemy swiftly. Soon, Kakine marches out of the battlefield where he and Mugino are supposed to be fighting, and he demands the location of Rikou, not until mentioning that Frenda has given out ITEM's location beforehand. Saiai is knocked out by Kakine's ability shortly after refusing to disclose Rikou's whereabouts.
Shiage and Rikou took to the elevator to escape Kakine, but they are caught in the 25th floor. To his shock, however, Rikou decides to protect him in spite of her lack of any battle abilities. Shiage, determined to change Rikou's imminent fate from a similar one as the corpse he threw away days ago, rushes to join a collapsed Rikou in facing Kakine.
Before Shiage could show any firepower, he was affected by the ability of Kakine's female companion, who was able to change Shiage's thoughts of shooting her. The "Girl in a Dress" then suggests leaving Rikou alone, as she was already on the verge of destroying herself due to her constant exposure to the Body Crystal. As the "Girl in a Dress" and Kakine quietly make their exit, Saiai goes to ask Shiage to take Rikou somewhere safe.
Then, he receives a call from Mugino, whose voice appears to be more chilling than ever. She is preparing for a counterattack against SCHOOL, and she needs Rikou's ability to track down SCHOOL's whereabouts.
Shiage, however, has other ideas.
With the help of Anti-Skill's Yomikawa Aiho, Shiage plans to take Rikou somewhere else, not in the hands of Mugino where Rikou might be used up until she dies. However, he sees Mugino with a mutilated corpse of someone in her hands... none other than Frenda, whom she executed for betraying ITEM. Mugino soon approaches Shiage, still filled with rage from discovering Frenda's betrayal, and Shiage finds himself in a battle between life and death against a Level 5 Esper.
Hamazura tries to lose Mugino by mixing with the crowd, but knows that it is a futile attempt, so he rushes inside a facility where ethanol fuel for vehicles is produced. It is there that he realizes the frightening abilities of Mugino — her ability to manipulate electrons into a state in which it can create massive beams of destructive energy.
Mugino begins her rampage against Shiage, and she manages to catch him despite his attempts to create a distance between him and the Level 5 Meltdowner. There, Shiage retaliates by puncturing Mugino's eye using the same Body Crystal case that she has been demanding from him; this causes her to lose control of her ability, destroying her left arm instantly. A mentally unstable Mugino, reaching her limits, attempts to finish off Shiage once and for all, but the Level 0 manages to reach the lady's gun on his pocket and showers Mugino's upper body with bullets.
Although it seems that Shiage has won the battle, he still needed to seal his victory using his fist on Mugino's face.
His exit from the ethanol production facility in District 3 was welcomed by Hanzou, and Hanzou announces that he will be leading the Skill-Out gang in Hamazura's behalf, but will be waiting for Hamazura's return.
Between the LinesEdit
Kakine and the "girl in the dress" return to one of SCHOOL's hideouts. Kakine discovers that while the "Tweezers" are useful in capturing the microscopic information-gathering devices called as Underline, he is not confident that gathering a small amount of them is enough to compare with Aleister's vast information about Academy City.
The only way Kakine is thinking for his plans to move forward is to defeat Accelerator. The "Girl in a Dress" is not interested in testing her ability against the strongest esper in Academy City, and leaves Kakine with his decision.
By order of appearance
- Hamazura Shiage
- Mugino Shizuri
- Takitsubo Rikou
- Kinuhata Saiai
- Kakine Teitoku
- Girl in the dress
- Yomikawa Aiho
- The Girl in the Dress' side job, where scientists hire as a non-sexual escort, is known as enjo kōsai, or compensated dating, a practice in modern Japan in which girls, often still in high school or even junior high, make arrangements with older men who pay them for dates. While the arrangement is not explicitly for sexual services, the nature of the activity is such that they are known to occur with some regularity.